Man gets 12 years in prison after pleading to cocaine trafficking charge

February 26

JOLIET – Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow announced Monday that a California truck driver caught with an estimated 7,000 grams of cocaine in his trailer at a Plainfield truck stop last year has been sentenced to 12 years in prison.

Manuel Ramirez, 38, of Elmonte, Calif., pleaded guilty on Monday to one Class X felony count of unlawful possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver.

A Class X felony typically carries a minimum sentence of six years in prison with no option for probation upon conviction. Because of the large amount of cocaine seized in this case, the minimum sentence allowable for the felony charge to which Ramirez pleaded guilty was 12 years. Ramirez has no prior criminal record.

“The harsh minimum penalties for trafficking in cocaine should send a warning to those involved in the illegal drug trade. If you are caught and convicted, you will go to prison for a long time,” Glasgow said. “Mr. Ramirez will learn that the hard way behind bars for his first conviction.”

Ramirez agreed to allow Illinois State Police investigators to search his trailer while he was parked at a truck stop off Interstate 55 at U.S. 30 on Sept. 18, 2006. The amount of cocaine seized had an estimated street value of more than $700,000.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant State’s Attorney Jeff Tuminello, who serves in Glasgow’s Drug Unit.